Staropramen Brewery Tour: A Comprehensive Guide to Prague’s Iconic Brewery (2023), including types of beer, ticket prices and how to get there from the centre of Prague.
If you’re a beer lover, there’s no better place to visit than the Staropramen brewery in Prague. With over 150 years of history, this brewery is one of the oldest and most respected in the Czech Republic. A visit to the Staropramen brewery is not only a chance to taste some of the best beer in the world, but also an opportunity to learn about the brewing process and the rich tradition of Czech beer-making. The brewery is located fairly close to Prague’s centre and makes a great indoor activity for 2-3 hrs.
In this blog post, I will take a closer look at what it’s like to visit the Staropramen brewery and why it’s a must-see destination for beer enthusiasts visiting Prague. I’ll also include my personal experience of visiting the brewery and a few extra insider tips if you want to follow the beer brewing trail in Prague and Czech Republic.
Introducing the Staropramen Brewery
Founded in 1869, the Staropramen brewery is the largest in Prague and the second largest in the Czech Republic. It uses the unique Saaz Hops (mainly from the Zatec hop growing region) and you can smell the sweet smell of malt brewing when you walk anywhere around Smichov area. The brewery started to export in 1953 and now supplies beer to over 37 different countries around the world. The word “Staropramen” means “old spring”.
Is Staropramen brewery worth visiting?
If you are interested in the history of beer making and you like drinking and tasting different types of beer then the Staropramen brewery is definitely worth visiting. It is the only traditional brewery in Prague that’s open to the public and you get to see where the beer is actually being made. The tour itself is reasonably priced, but if you are travelling to Prague on a tight budget, you can also just visit the entrance and the bar area (which is decorated in the late 19th-century style with old-fashioned advertisements, where you can buy a beer and enjoy the atmosphere).
If you are deciding between visiting the new Pilsen Beer Experience (close to Wenceslas Square) or the Staropramen Brewery, then the Staropramen Brewery is more authentic; because that’s where the beer is actually brewed – you can smell it and you can also walk around the buildings to get an idea how huge the whole complex is. The Pilsen Beer Experience is also much more expensive – tickets start from 500 CZK.
However, if you do have an extra day in Prague, it’s totally worth visiting the actual Pilsen Brewery and do a real tour of the brewery in Pilzen. The historic Pilzen town is also great and only 60 minutes by a fast train from the Main Train Station, so it makes a great day trip from Prague.
If you are interested in learning more about hops and beer brewing, Zatec is also only 60 minutes by bus from Prague and you can visit the largest brewing museum, sample the local beer and fully appreciate the idea of why the hop-growing town got accepted into the UNESCO list of places in Czech Republic in 2023.
What to expect when visiting
The Staropramen Visitor Center was opened in 2000 as part of the Staropramen Brewery complex. The museum takes you through the history of Staropramen from its founding in 1869 to the present day. It describes the gradual modernisation of beer production and how the brewery works on a day-to-day basis.
The story is told by the most significant figure in the history of Staropramen, the head brewer Josef Paspa. Under his leadership, Staropramen became the largest brewery in the former Czechoslovakia. In the exhibition, you can see many elements from the original brewery, including original brass mixing vats and a Tatra delivery truck that Staropramen used to deliver to customers in the 1930s. In the brewery, you go through the brewing process step by step until you arrive at the beer-tasting bar. No surprise there!
The tour ends with a beer tasting at the Staropramen bar, whose design reflects the rich tradition of Czech pubs, including old wooden tables, brass railings, and other accessories that you can find in the most popular Prague pubs. The beer is served in custom-made handmade glasses by Czech glassmakers. You can choose between lager, dark beer, and the Granát beer speciality, all of which are among the best-selling beers.
New Staropramen Ambassador
In 2023, Hollywood star Orlando Bloom became the new ambassador of Staropramen. Bloom spent several years in Prague filming the series Carnival Row and fell in love with the city and Czech beer.
Not a lot of people know this, but you can visit the Staropramen bar without doing the museum and brewery tour. This is great if you are short of time (or not that interested in the history) and still want to sample the beer and enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned Czech pub with a retro design.
You can buy the beer in 0.5 litres (from 65 CZK) or buy the tasting beer menu in 0.2 glasses (4 beers 160 CZK or 6 beers 200 CZK). This is a super good value, since you get to taste 6 different beers for the price of about one and a half at a restaurant at the Old Town Square.
The bar also serves a simple pub menu, such as pickled cheese, fried cheese, beer goulash or sausages pickled in beer.
What beer can you taste at the Staropramen Brewery?
The beer tasting that’s included in the tour is 0.2 litre of each type of beer (depending on what type of ticket you have). On top of that, you can also taste any of the other beers offered on tap. The prices I’ve included in this list are 0.5 litre per beer.
STAROPRAMEN LEŽÁK NEPASTER
Traditional light lager made since 1869 with Czech and German hops, which gives a pleasant bitter taste and aroma.
Price: 65 CZK
Characteristically unfiltered, it combines the tradition of Czech lager with German wheat beer and Belgian apple and coriander extract.
Price: 65 CZK
A polished semi-dark lager with a garnet colour, which is given by a combination of light, Bavarian and caramel malt. Made using the original 1884 recipe.
Price: 65 CZK
Dark Bavarian-style lager with a full sweet caramel flavour and a gentle hop bitterness.
Price: 65 CZK
Belgian-style wheat beer with a touch of orange peel and coriander to enhance the flavour.
Price: 65 CZK
Selection of brewers, a different beer on tap every month.
Price: 65 CZK
What is the alcohol percentage of Staropramen beer?
The alcohol percentage of Staropramen beer varies depending on the type of beer. The classic Staropramen Lager has an alcohol percentage of 5%, while the Staropramen Granat has an alcohol percentage of 4.8%. You can also taste the Staropramen version of non-alcoholic beer, which has all the taste, but no alcohol.
Is Staropramen beer available in the USA, UK and abroad?
Yes, Staropramen beer is available in the USA, UK and widely abroad. It can be found in select speciality beer stores and online retailers. However, availability may vary depending on location.
Who is the Staropramen Brewery Tour best for?
The museum and the tasting part are best for those over 18. It’s legal to drink alcohol in Czech Republic from the 18th birthday, but if you are lucky enough to look less than 18, you should carry with you an official ID – student card with a photo or your passport.
Pivovarska 9, Smichov, Prague 5
How to get to Staropramen Brewery from centre of PRague
The Staropramen Brewery is very close to the centre of Prague – no less than 15 minutes by tram or 10 minutes by underground. The building is within walking distance (5 minutes) from the Andel Underground Station on line B. If you get off at the side that says ‘ Na Knizeci’ you will walk out of the underground right in front of the brewery building.
Alternatively, you can also get a tram from the centre – number 12, 20, 5 stop right in front of the building and the stop is called ‘Na Knizeci’. Any tram (e.g. 9, 10,15, 16) that stops at Andel will be also close enough for you to walk to the brewery.
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays) all year round. The English tour is at 1 pm every day, plus there are extra tours in Czech, Russian and German language.
The ticket prices are based on how many beers you’d like to taste at the end of your visit to the museum and the brewery. The cheapest ticket includes only one beer and is 249 CZK for adults, 219 CZK for students or seniors (without drink) for 99 CZK.
Children are allowed in the brewery and museum, but of course, won’t be served any alcohol (there are different soft drinks on offer at the bar). Tickets for children under 7 years old are free and under 13 years 99 CZK and for under 26 years 169 CZK.
The most expensive version of the ticket is the museum/brewery plus 6 types of Staropramen Beer for 339 CZK, which I think is a great deal (especially if you know that the restaurants at the Old Town Square will charge up to 150 CZK for one beer (1/2 litre – about a pint). The beer tastings are smaller than 1/2 litre each, but it still makes it a great value.
Where to get tickets
You can buy tickets directly at the brewery entrance as you walk in or you can pre-book via the brewery’s official website (www.centrumstaropramen.cz). On Fridays and Saturdays, I would recommend pre-booking if you want to get in at a particular time because the brewery is very popular with stag tours and it’s a lot busier with regular tourists too.
Best time to visit
If you want to avoid the crowds and the stag parties, the best time to visit is on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
How much time to allow for your visit
When I visited last time, I spent about 2 hrs at the Staropramen Brewery. The brewery tour takes approximately 50 minutes, but you will need extra time to enjoy your beer tasting at the end of the tour (depending on how many beers you have as a part of your ticket). You can also buy individual beers to try once you finish your beer tasting.
You can order more beer and pub snacks and simple pub food at the bar.
There are free toilets available as you walk into the visitor’s centre.
The visitor’s centre also has many Staropramen-related souvenirs for you to tempt you with and to suit all budgets.
Can I do this independently or do I need a guided tour to visit
You can definitely do the tour or visit the Staropramen Brewery on your own. Everyone is super friendly and speaks English and you can easily buy your ticket to the museum when you get there. The museum has everything explained both in Czech and English language and every day at 1 pm you can join the English-speaking tour if you prefer. Getting to the brewery is also easy from the centre of Prague (just check out my notes above)
Things to do around the Staropramen Brewery
- Explore the independent pubs and coffee places along the Lidicka Ulice, including independent local microbrewery ‘Andelsky Pivovar’ or ‘Kozlovna’ where you can taste all the Kozel range of beers.
- Traditional Prague Farmer’s markets at Andel Underground Station (Fridays) or Naplavka opposite Vltava Riverbank under the Vysehrad Castle (Saturdays)
- Hidden bars, restaurants and gallery at Smichovska Naplavka at Vltava River (5 minutes walk from the Staropramen Brewery)
This blog post was originally written on 16 November 2023 and last updated on 16 November 2023
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